Marketta Gregory: 35 years of following Jesus
In my faith tradition, we often point to one moment when we chose to follow Jesus. A time when we understood we needed forgiveness and grace – and we knew that God could give us both peace and mercy.
For me, that moment came April 9, 1980. I was sitting up toward the front of the church on the left, and the preacher told us how God would help us always, that his yoke was the lighter, less burdensome way. And I believed.
A handful of days later, on April 13, I stood in front of the church and was baptized. My going under the water symbolized the end of one way of life and my rising showed what had happened inside my soul. A new, clean start.
Thirty-five years ago this month, I dried my hair and walked back out to greet my friends and family, and I had no idea where my journey would take me. I only knew who would be with me and I thought that would be enough.
I couldn’t see far enough into the future to know of the friends who would need to move away, the family members who would die or the questioning that would happen in college and in hard times. I couldn’t see far enough to know I would fall in love and then learn to stay in love, that I would have children who carry my heart or a career that allows me to write. I couldn’t know the depths of my need or the height of His love until I started to walk and faced curves that I couldn’t see around.
It turns out the preacher was right. The road can get rough and steep, so if you’re going to travel, it’s better to go with someone who helps carry your burdens, someone who catches every tear and celebrates every success. It’s better to follow someone who walks in light and in love, someone who forgives you when you falter … again.
I have no idea where the next 35 years will take me, but after all these years, I know who will be with me. And I know for certain that he is enough.
Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email email@example.com or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @MarkettaGregory.